James McSherry, 83, veteran, Frederick lawyer

October 20, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

James McSherry, an attorney and decorated veteran of World War II, died of congestive heart failure Oct. 13 at his Frederick home. He was 83.

A Frederick native, he earned a degree in history from Georgetown University in 1942, then was commissioned in the Navy as an ensign.

During World War II he participated in eight amphibious invasions in Europe and the Pacific. He landed in Sicily and later at Saipan, Okinawa and Iwo Jima, under heavy enemy fire. He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor at Iwo Jima.

Mr. McSherry graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1949 and joined the Frederick law practice established in the 19th century by his grandfather, James McSherry, who was a chief justice of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

"My father practiced law in Frederick County from the time when the city of Frederick had less than 10,000 people," said his son, James McSherry of Erdenheim, Pa. "He was widely known throughout the county. He considered himself a country lawyer, and he could not stand injustice of any form."

In the 1960s, he served as the county attorney. He retired from his law practice in 1988.

At his death, he was a board member of the Woodsboro Bank, and member of the rector's council of Mount St. Mary's Seminary, the Knights of Columbus, the Rotary Club of Frederick, local posts of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, and the Frederick Cotillon Club and Baltimore Bachelors Cotillon.

He worked on marital annulment cases for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and was awarded a papal commendation in 1982 for his service to the church. Last year, he and his wife of 58 years, the former Marian Shriver Macsherry, received the Cornerstone Award from Friends of Catholic Education for their work in support of Catholic education in Frederick County.

He was also a lector at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Frederick, where a funeral Mass was offered Saturday.

Survivors, in addition to his wife and son, include two other sons, W. Clinton McSherry of Bel Air and Michael Shriver McSherry of Newton, Mass.; nine daughters, Carbery McSherry Caron of Lebanon, Conn., M. Natalie McSherry of Baltimore, Caroline McSherry Black of Timonium, Katherine McSherry Brigham of Hull, Mass., Ann McSherry Chafey of El Cajon, Calif., Madeline McSherry McGaughan of North Potomac, Christine K. McSherry of Baltimore, Emily McSherry Craig of Bethesda and Padraic McSherry Morton of Baltimore; and 29 grandchildren.

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